The 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s are, by some (myself included), considered to be the glory days of horror films. You had guys like Dario Argento, George A. Romero, John Carpenter and Wes Craven in their prime; you had traumatize-you-for-life scary movies like “The Exorcist,” and campy fright fests like “Evil Dead.” But above all that, you had Scream Queens.
It feels like the new millennium has tragically forgotten the Scream Queen, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Though they might not live up to some legendary Scream Queens as Jamie Lee Curtis or Neve Campbell, these ladies can definitely stir up some scares and have fine sets of lungs.
Katie Cassidy was born into a famous family (her father is 1970s pop heartthrob, David Cassidy), but she’s been making a name for herself starring in a large number of thrillers and horror films. She’s already starred in remakes of Black Christmas, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and When a Stranger Calls, and later this year she will be starring in a modern retelling of the Hitchcock classic, Stranger on a Train: Kill For Me.
Naomi Watts has been one of the most successful Scream Queens of the 21st Century. First, she starred in The Ring, a genuinely terrifying and haunting horror film, and it’s sequel. Then she starred as the damsel in distress in the King Kong remake and the thriller, Dream House, but perhaps her most frightening and disturbing film was Funny Games. Funny Games is about two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin and mentally (and physically) torture them. It’s dark and unsettling and Watts looks genuinely terrified, all while keeping her cool for the sake of her son, throughout the whole film. Watts has another thriller, Holland, Michigan, in pre-production right now.
Chloë Grace Moretz
Though I wasn’t a huge fan of the Carrie remake, I can’t deny Chloë Grace Moretz’s Scream Queen potential. Being awarded the role of Carrie at all is a huge deal, and though she didn’t pull it off as well as Sissy Spacek did, there’s no denying the girl has talent. Though her Carrie remake didn’t really fly, her starring role in the English version of Let Me In was phenomenal and once again proves the girl is pretty comfortable bathed in blood.
Amazingly enough, there is more to Amber Heard than just her relationship with Johnny Depp and being a former sexy lesbian (I’m just as shocked as you are!). Aside from her much talked about personal life, Heard has also starred in a series of horror films over the past several years such as The Ward, Zombieland, and the cult hit, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.
Rose Byrne is a dynamo. Aside from being genuinely funny (see Bridesmaids), a fantastic dramatic actress (see Damages), she’s also one of the best new Scream Queens. She’s starred the zombie flicks, 28 Weeks Later, and in both Insidious films which were not only well received by both critics and the box office, they were genuinely terrifying; a rarity in horror films nowadays!
I hate to play favorite, but I absolutely LOVE Sara Paxton. She was heartbreaking in the Last House on the Left remake and perfection in The Innkeepers. Paxton is beautiful, but in a down-to-earth way and she’s strong, yet vulnerable, making her a fantastic Scream Queen in training. Aside from her brilliant turn in The Innkeepers (I really love that movie), Paxton also stars in the upcoming thriller Liars All.